Summary of Why We Struggle Learning Languages | Gabriel Wyner | TEDxNewBedford

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00:00:00 - 00:15:00

Gabriel Wyner discusses how children have an advantage when it comes to learning languages, and how adults can learn languages more effectively by using spaced repetition systems and connecting grammar to sounds, images, tastes, and emotions.

  • 00:00:00 Gabriel Wyner discusses the advantages that children have when it comes to learning languages. He describes his experiences as a student, and discusses how he failed at learning a foreign language due to challenges he faced that children don't have. Wyner says that what works better than what children use is something that adults learn naturally, and that this "something" is intelligence.
  • 00:05:00 Gabriel Wyner discusses how he learned three languages (Hungarian, Italian, and French) by cheating on language tests. He then explains how spaced repetition systems (a type of flashcards) can be used to improve language skills. Wyner relates this to his experiences learning Hebrew and Russian and how they were not effective for him. He concludes by sharing an example of how moktor (a word meaning "motor" in Icelandic) can be remembered.
  • 00:10:00 Gabriel Wyner talks about how he learned languages by using pictures, sentences, and abstract words to build a vocabulary. He also talks about his experiences with learning Russian, Hungarian, and Japanese, and how each language has been different. He concludes by saying that the strategy of using pictures, sentences, and abstract words to learn a language is the same no matter the language.
  • 00:15:00 Gabriel Wyner discusses the importance of giving language life and how this can help people learn it more efficiently. He explains that grammar cannot be a purely abstract code, but must be connected to sounds, images, tastes, and emotions in order to be useful. Wyner also notes that everyone can learn a language, regardless of whether they have a language gene or not.

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